Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 7: Armstrong's - Accident Happened on the Best Fishing Day

April 13th, I went back to Armstrong spring creek. I finally got an ideal weather!!
A cloudy overcast day with occasional rain and snow yet almost all no winds!! Perfect condition for streamer fishing at day-in and -out!! Also perfect condition for strong hatches of baetis and midges were expected during the afternoon!!

In the morning, I landed only one though I moved lots of trout by sight fishing with Doug's Home Invader.
Now my expectation for the afternoon went really high for this ideal fishing day. I took a picture of my F-150 as it was made up by snow at O'Hair ranch. Little did I know this would be the "BEFORE" shot in 10 minutes........

I wanted to go to town around lunch time quickly to drop by Yellowstone Angler to pay my tabs and shop some stuffs. Then I should have been back to the creek and got ready for a wonderful afternoon.......
As I left O'Hair Ranch to Highway 89, it was just a wet road as I drive here in eastern Washington. I was driving 70 mph which is the speed limit of 89. At a slight and non-significant curve where Yellowstone River comes closer to the highway, I felt my truck was slipping. I could have (and should have......) set into 4-wheel drive but I'd rather tried to counter the slip by steer-wheeling. Then I lost the whole steering. I made a 180-turn to the hill side and backed into something and stopped.
This was the third time I did this in my life. I thought I would be flipped over upside down with my F-150. But the moment I noticed that I was making a 180-turn, I knew I was not going to die. I was thinking about how many damages I would get and how much it would cost to fix all.......
I first tried to start the engine but it didn't. Then I noticed that it was shifted in "D". As I shifted to "P" at least it did start. Then two local gents pulled over for me and navigated me to get out. I was stuck and stopped by the two steel posts at the right rear wheel. I could get out without being towed. I even didn't have flat tires at all. But the right rear tire was stuck with weeds and dirt at between tire and rim. So I drove to a local tire shop.
By then I was catching some breath. Then I found out the wreck and damage. First the passenger side of my canopy was totally smashed inside and crushed pieces of glasses all over in my bed. Furthermore, the water bottle that I kept in the bed was smashed. So the bed was totally wet and messy.

Though I didn't have a flat even on this most shocked wheel. It seemed the rim would be distorted by the shock. Tire shop suggest me to put a spare tire while keeping this as spare on my way home.

Since I backed into something, this was really "OMG". Muffler was bent like a hair-pin. They cut it off for the better flow....of course.

Now I had to keep my bed dry as much as I could. I dropped by a hardware store and bought a tarp and duct tape to make it through temporarily. This quick patch actually worked to against the winds of Livingston and driving all through.

I barely went back to Armstrong's 3:30pm. I saw positive and constant rises for Spring baetis. It stopped at 5pm, which told me that I must have missed the best insect factory situation on the most ideal day due to the accident. I barely salvaged the day with a streamer.

But everyone I talked to told me how lucky I was. And I have to agree though I was totally down and sad that the accident happened during my trip.

  • First I didn't get severely injured.
  • Second, I didn't involve other people.
  • Third I didn't fall into the river.
  • Forth my truck got only a few cosmetic damages (I made home without any troubles).

Right now, I have just cleaned the mess in the bed and figured out to fix tire and window just in my town. I might be experiencing a light whiplash on my neck.......

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